The already-complex task of reaching a long-term agreement on Iran’s nuclear program could get a little more complicated.
Reports earlier this week suggested that Russia and Iran are working on an oil-for-goods trade deal worth $20 billion. Such a deal could involve Iran selling Russia 500,000 barrels of oil a day, in exchange for equipment including metal and food.
“If such a deal were to happen, it would be inconsistent with the “¦ joint plan of action,” a senior administration official told reporters Friday.
Under the interim agreement — reached by the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France, China, and Iran — Iran is not supposed to export, on average, more than 1 million barrels a day.
The official added that they have no information that the Russia-Iran deal has been implemented, but said if it is, it could potentially trigger sanctions.
“If it in fact was sanctionable, we would take the appropriate actions,” the official said, adding that the United States has voiced its concerns about the deal.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Bob Corker, in response to report of the Russia-Iran deal, said that “the administration must be prepared to restore all sanctions if Iran cheats.”
Diplomats are expected to head back to Vienna next week to continue discussions aimed at reaching a long-term agreement.
But the official said that negotiators aren’t expected to start drafting the final agreement until May, and are preparing “to dive much more deeply into what a comprehensive agreement might look like on paper.”
What We're Following See More »
Instead of his usual stump speech, Bernie Sanders tonight threw his support behind Hillary Clinton, providing a clear contrast between Clinton and GOP nominee Donald Trump on the many issues he used to discuss in his campaign stump speeches. Sanders spoke glowingly about the presumptive Democratic nominee, lauding her work as first lady and as a strong advocate for women and the poor. “We need leadership in this country which will improve the lives of working families, the children, the elderly, the sick and the poor,” he said. “Hillary Clinton will make a great president, and I am proud to stand with her tonight."
In a stark contrast from Michelle Obama's uplifting speech, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke about the rigged system plaguing Americans before launching into a full-throated rebuke of GOP nominee Donald Trump. Trump is "a man who has never sacrificed anything for anyone," she claimed, before saying he "must never be president of the United States." She called him divisive and selfish, and said the American people won't accept his "hate-filled America." In addition to Trump, Warren went after the Republican Party as a whole. "To Republicans in Congress who said no, this November the American people are coming for you," she said.
"In this election, and every election, it's about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives," Michelle Obama said. "There is only one person who I trust with that responsibility … and that is our friend Hillary Clinton." In a personal and emotional speech, Michelle Obama spoke about the effect that angry oppositional rhetoric had on her children and how she chose to raise them. "When they go low, we go high," Obama said she told her children about dealing with bullies. Obama stayed mostly positive, but still offered a firm rebuke of Donald Trump, despite never once uttering his name. "The issues a president faces cannot be boiled down to 140 characters," she said.
Many Bernie Sanders delegates have spent much of the first day of the Democratic National Convention resisting unity, booing at mentions of Hillary Clinton and often chanting "Bernie! Bernie!" Well, one of the most outspoken Bernie Sanders supporters just told them to take a seat. "To the Bernie-or-bust people: You're being ridiculous," said comedian Sarah Silverman in a brief appearance at the Convention, minutes after saying that she would proudly support Hillary Clinton for president.
The Democratic National Committee issued a formal apology to Bernie Sanders today, after leaked emails showed staffers trying to sabotage his presidential bid. "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email," DNC officials said in the statement. "These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process. The DNC does not—and will not—tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates."